There is definitely a double standard when it comes to men, women, and fidelity in our society. Some of this double standard is driven by stereotypes. You know how those stereotypes go. Men are all dogs and they are constantly on the prowl. They are always looking for some strange, no matter what, and they are not capable of being faithful. Many men repeat these stereotypes because they play into helping them make excuses for their unfaithful behavior. “Hey baby,” they say, “I’m just being me. I’m just being a guy. You know guys can’t be faithful. It’s in our genes.”
Well, it is actually true that men are genetically wired to want to be with as many women as possible, and they seek out the most attractive women thanks to this biological imperative to spread their genetic code to the healthiest women possible. It is hard to deny that genetically, we are hardwired to want to always be having sex, and with as many partners as possible. But this genetic hard-wiring goes both ways.
There’s new research out of a place called Chapman University. They asked more than sixty thousand Americans to think about what would be worse, if their spouses or boyfriends/girlfriends had a loveless sexual fling with someone else, or if those same wayward partners had a deep emotional connection with someone else that was not the survey participant.
It turns out, straight men got a lot more upset about their partners having sex with someone else. Straight females were much more upset about their partners establishing an emotional connection with another person. When people who were bisexual or homosexual were surveyed, their opinions didn’t vary much. It was the straight folks who showed that marked division.
Well, setting aside for a minute the fact that the researchers seemed to think it was weird that straight people actually showed a difference, I have to think this is yet another one of those stupid studies that seems to seize on something that is much more common sense than anything else, then blares the news as if it’s some incredibly big deal. If that’s the case I’m definitely in the wrong business. I should be taking money from the government to make studies of things that we already know to be true, things that you can reveal through common sense.
Of course women and men have different opinions about infidelity. This is because women and men are fundamentally different, both mentally and emotionally. Anyone who doesn’t admit this is simply kidding himself. It is true now, it was true centuries ago, and it will likely be true centuries from now, although it’s hard to say just how badly rampant political correctness will mess up society. I hate to think that the future will look like one of those dystopian movies where everyone is controlled and nobody is allowed to actually say what they naturally think, but… come to think of it, maybe the future is now. It’s a worrying thought.
But getting back to stereotypes and reality, men are fundamentally creatures of pragmatic logic. A guy thinks in concrete terms. It’s one of the reasons men, traditionally, have been the motor that moves the world. Men are the ones in society motivated to get things done. They look at problems as things to be solved. They survey the problem, they look at their assets and liabilities, they approach the problem with a plan, and they execute that plan. They do a lot less complaining than their female counterparts, and they tolerate a lot less emotional bickering on the job. Men are more likely to settle their problems with violence and then consider them settled. It’s in our natures. It’s also why men aren’t known for their emotional, catty backbiting. They’re known for other negative qualities instead, like recklessness and a lack of class.
Women, by comparison, are fundamentally creatures of emotion. They think in abstract terms. This is one of the reasons that traditionally, women have been the nurturers. They raise the children after having the children. They provide comfort and support to the men they are with — but, historically, not really that much comfort or that much support. The old saying that behind every great man there is a woman is fundamentally flawed, unless you look at it as the woman riding the man’s coattails. Ask any man who has had serious problems in his life, like health problems or financial problems. Did his woman stand by him? No she did not. Most women jump ship at the first sign of a very serious problem, because they know they can find a better provider who can give them more stuff and who has less difficulty surrounding him. This is the more venal, mercenary side of women, but the emotional side is significant too.
Women are fundamentally emotional. They cry and get upset. When they don’t like the available options they whine and complain, rather than making a decision. Groups of women invariably break down into political infighting. Two women can be friends, but three women always become a fight where two gang up on the third. If you’ve ever worked in a largely female office, you know what a nightmare it is to work there. Women simply aren’t logical and aren’t rational. Without men to help them, they rarely get anything done. They simply aren’t effective creatures that way.
It makes sense, then, that women, who are largely emotional, would see an emotional connection as the more important of the two. Men, by contrast, who think very pragmatically, would be worried about the physical infidelity more. The study just tells us what we already know, in way that manages to sound insulting to heterosexuals in the study because they dared to have different opinions, as compared to their bisexual or homosexual counterparts.
The whole study, though, is really pretty stupid, and you’re probably better off just ignoring the whole thing. It’s funny how often solutions boil down to just that.